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| | |-+  Upcoming IFR Practical
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Author Topic: Upcoming IFR Practical  (Read 19558 times)
flygirltammy
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« on: April 30, 2009, 09:12:08 PM »

I am so nervous about this. I think that even if I studied 6 hours everyday until the practical I would still be nervous.

Here is my question/request: I have been getting lots of little advice here and there from people I meet. Are there any questions or situations that were thrown at your during either the oral or practical portion that were unexpected like it never crossed your mind, or something you studied or practiced only one time, or thought "dang, I knew I should have studied that more".

Advice? Examples?
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captray
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 11:09:43 AM »

I've always told my students, that I would not sign you off if I did not think you were ready to pass the test.
That being said the Instrument Rating is difficult to obatain, only because of the quantity of rules involved, and that it is so different from VFR flying.
I also feel that it is the most satisfying rating that you can get!

In the end the checkride is fairly straight forward, because of the rules, there is only so much the examiner can ask you to do.

Expect; Preflight planning, don't file direct. That shows a lack of thought on your part.
             Preflight checks, radio setup, chart location and accessabilty(don't leave them in your flight bag in the back seat) Passenger briefing.
             You will do an ILS, VOR, GPS or NDB. One of them will be partial panel though.
             Holding, entering and maybe a lap or two around the course.
             Unusual attitudes and recoveries.

In the end, I am sure you will do fine. Instructors don't want there students to fail.

Let me know how you do and what was expected.

Best of Luck!

Ray

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american2492
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 07:54:48 PM »

Just be confident. The most important part of being a successful airman... or woman Smiley is to be confident. If you are able to display a sense of comfortable know how in the cockpit, a little slip isnt going to kill you. if you do mess up though, dont take your ball and go home. Remain confident and think positive. Dont let a little mistake ruin all your hard work.
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byoungblood
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 10:44:29 AM »

What will be on your oral exam is really up to the examiner. When I took mine just about two weeks ago, about 50% of the material was from the ASA Oral Exam Test Prep book (mostly regulatory type questions), and the rest was discussion on my flight plan, weather charts, and situational/practical application questions. All said and done, my oral exam lasted about an hour and a half. No real surprises here, there were a couple of the questions where you have to list a bunch of stuff that I forgot one or two items on, but I doubt any examiner would fail you because you forgot one item out of a dozen unless it was something important, such as minimum equipment requirements for IFR flight. Particularly if you have done well on the remainder of the oral exam.

For the planned flight, make sure you bring the necessary approach plates, DP and STARs, NOTAMS and Wx for your departure and destination airports. My examiner asked me a few questions about the STAR I filed, and also asked me why I did not file an alternate (not required in my case, just make sure to have the TAF to back it up!)

My practical was just short of two hours. It was pretty straightforward, and there was nothing I was asked to do that I had not practiced many times before. I had one small hiccup on the ILS approach, but I stayed within the PTS, so I didn't bust it. On the partial panel approach (VOR), anything in the cockpit should be fair game for heading reference. Just verify with the examiner before hand that using a backup GPS or the panel mount GPS as a heading reference is OK first. Mine had no problems with it and actually thought it was a good idea to use one when IFR as a safety backup. I was still asked to demonstrate a couple of timed turns (he used them as the clearing turns for the unusual attitudes) just to illustrate I could do them. My holding pattern was part of a GPS approach, so it was really just a matter of flying the prompts on the 430. He did ask me what kind of pattern entry I should use (teardrop in this instance) and what headings I should fly on each leg before I loaded the approach, just to make sure I could do the calculations myself. They're really just looking for proper hold entry and wind correction to keep you in protected airspace. No real surprises, no DME arcs or NDB approaches (airplane is not equipped with an ADF anyway).

Really, it just comes down to being calm, following procedures, and staying ahead of the airplane at all times. When you've got a few extra minutes between tasks, go over what you expect (or have been told to expect) will be next on the agenda. This way you can concentrate on the task at hand and don't have to formulate a plan as you go.
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captray
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 06:04:13 PM »

Excellent post!
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flygirltammy
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 09:52:24 PM »

Wow. Thanks captray, byoungblood, and american2492.

I have not been told the "Don't file direct" one before. I see how that makes total sense. It would be bad to be flustered with last minute planning.

My tendency towards being a neat freak comes in handy since I have kinda jerry rigged my kneeboard for stuff to all be there. For some reason I had a mental block with doing holds but feel good about them now.

Confidence......yeah...... I need to work on that one. It's probably just all in my head.

I have been hitting ASA hard lately and lots of practice writtens ( I passed written a while ago but need to keep fresh). I do need to maybe look at the WX maps more, though.

I am aiming towards doing this by mid-June. Flying lessons for past 2 weekends in a row were cxld. One instructor related and the other due to wx (wasn't real good to do lesson going through almost everything with random climbs and descents with visibility at 1/4 and 1,100 ft ceilings in Class B airspace especially with DFW and DAL right there) .

Thanks for the advice. Please keep it coming!! There is stuff I maybe hadn't even thought about.
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byoungblood
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 10:00:24 PM »

If you can get some actual in, I think it really does help. I had 2.5 hrs of actual when I took my checkride. The airport I fly out of is located underneath one of the shelves of the Atlanta Class B (RYY), so I get plenty of practice talking to them anyway.

You just don't want to file direct for the flight plan you have to put together for the oral exam. In a real world situation, if it makes sense to do so (ie., airports are less than 75nm from each other or there is no obvious route via airways between the two) then go ahead. Just be prepared to get something else and be ready with your charts if you're given a full route clearance.

Flying a hold isn't too big of a deal if it is published, it is when ATC calls up and gives you a random one that isn't depicted on anything that probably throws some people for a loop that haven't done many of them. Honestly, this is something that is best practiced on a simulator just so you can do them over and over again.
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captray
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 06:23:48 AM »

I was taught and teach that if you draw the hold out, on a piece of paper or the chart, it is much easier to visualize. Then it becomes much easier to fly. Almost all holds are, cross the fix and turn outbound. My personal rules are direct and teardrop entry. The parallel entry is way too much turning when you are in the clouds. The rules now state that you demonstrate holding entries. They don't emphasize the entries like they did in the old days. Thankfully!
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flygirltammy
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 07:23:40 PM »

I was taught and teach that if you draw the hold out, on a piece of paper or the chart, it is much easier to visualize. Then it becomes much easier to fly. Almost all holds are, cross the fix and turn outbound. My personal rules are direct and teardrop entry. The parallel entry is way too much turning when you are in the clouds. The rules now state that you demonstrate holding entries. They don't emphasize the entries like they did in the old days. Thankfully!

When I first started practicing these I got so stumped that I felt retarded. Then I realized that I can't easily "see in 3-D" as I call it. So, what I did was I made a big VOR in tape on my living room floor, used the hold scenarios from the lesson, and walked it out ( I told my boss about this and he joked "what do you do to practice a missed approach? jump out the window? LOL  grin ). That made me understand it better to physically walk it out. But I do need to draw it out still, as you suggest. I still can't execute one on short notice though since I need to draw it out in order to visualize it.
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captray
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 12:10:21 PM »

Short notice on holds is a way of life, especially in the North East. But, remember, cross the fix and turn outbound. Then you have time to sketch it out. Here's a question for you (or anyone else) why are standard traffic patterns left turns and standard holds right turns??? I think that while writing the regs someone went to lunch and came back after a few drinks!

Truth be told when I was learning IFR (20+ years ago) I put a beer bottle in the middle of the floor and flew Holds, NDB and DME arcs around it using a hand held compass. I guess some things never change!
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supersonikatc
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 06:16:19 PM »

Hi grin. U choose very interesting type of profession & only this moment told us that u r stronggirl,so there is no miracle(it needs to speak with examiner like with mirror& imagine that u have conversation with yourself).It will be easy or u like a teacher that explain materials for student-examiner!
But it is not the main aim,you need to control the reflection of your mind & your voice confident,because your examiner in the air & on the ground+ATC will see your self-reliance and what time it takes you to make decision!Not to give panic controls u,because you ARE a chief on the board & inside yourself + u r responsible for passenger!!!So u need to keep a lot information at one time+listen very attentively(especially avoid missunderstanding-exemple sink&think)+your voice loud & clear(as possible short without unnecessary information)+comply as published+a great luck about your workmate(all-inclusive as wiseman & friend or the man that you could trust & feel the partners thoughts)+i wish your realize yourself grin!!!Bless you God!
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supersonikatc
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 06:49:22 PM »

In addition, ATC could helps you in the air on your demand using radar vectoring or any information
                  ,but nothing better could be adviced,besides professional interpilot conversation,especially after work in pub to identified your gaps in your knowledge!
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gar0u
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 12:53:12 AM »

If you don't know the answer to a question during the oral, don't try and make something up.

General nervousness during an exam is normal, even if you've prepared.  All but one of my check rides have actually been a plesant experience when they were over.  My instrument check ride was the only one that was terrible.

It seemed like the examiner was there to trick me, and I was sure I'd failed.  He kept asking me questions I'd never heard of, and I thought I was horribly unprepared.

Things like "How would you depart an airport with no DP in IMC?"

I told him "I don't think you can" instead of "You cannot."  So he pressed me.  I thought I was failing, so I made something up on the spot, something like, "Look at the approach plate, and basically fly it backwards."

Then he said, "Nope, that will kill you.  Go get your instructor." 

I felt awful.  But it really comes back to the confidence.  I knew you couldn't do it, but I thought I wasn't prepared and tried to fake it, which is a dangerous thing to do, even on the ground!
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flygirltammy
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 12:27:50 PM »

July 11th is the date
**fingers crossed, lots of study and questioning everything**
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captray
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2009, 08:45:02 AM »

You'll do fine!

Let us know how it goes!
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